View Full Version : I *hate* hedgehogs.

Michael Morris
31-05-2005, 07:57 PM
When someone plays in hedgehog fashion - giving up the center, prompting an attack and hoping you'll blunder I inwardly cringe - perhaps cause I'm so prone to blunders. The game is in pgn at the end of the post.

[Event "ICC 2 12 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2005.05.29"]
[Round "-"]
[White "guest3373"]

[Result "1-0"]
[ICCResult "Black checkmated"]
[Opening "King's pawn opening"]
[ECO "B07"]
[NIC "VO.17"]
[Time "03:22:08"]
[TimeControl "120+12"]

[b]1. e4 d6
2. d4 c6

It's more usual for black to fight for the center then give it up without a wimper. g6 would allow the fianchettoing of the king bishop, b6 the same with the queen's bishop. Nf6 would allow for a Pirc's defense.

I respect hypermodern openings like the Pirc, the Sicilian and the like. Black at least fights back. Here, he's already crumpling into a ball on move two and hoping a mistake will be made.

3. f4

If Black want's a game of come get me, I'll happily oblidge. Now even Nf6 will be difficult since e5 can dismiss it.

3. ... b5

Having ceded any prospect of activity in the center black decides to play on the queenside. This however guarantees he'll need to castle Kingside.

4. Nf3 d5
5. e5

White locks the center for the moment to get his pieces developed to the numerous happy strike points in the wake of the advanced pawns. He can blast it back open later with f5 if black fianchettos the king bishop (at this point he almost has to).

5. ... f5??

This opens up several attack avenues depending on white's mood and temperment. For starters, the knight can now go to g5 and not be dismissed (If black tries to dismiss the knight with 5. ... h6? the king is put to flight 6. Qh5+ Kd7 (if g6 Qxg6+ and Kd7 is forced anyway) 7. e6+ and regardless of where the king goes 8. Nf7 wins the queen) for quite a while.

However, while black's position in this case isn't comfortable, it is playable with plenty of opportunities for white to miscue. This is why I hate hedgehogs. They violate opening principles and still snert out a win on a blunder if you're not careful.

No, g5 while nice isn't the best move.

6. PxPep

I offered the opponent a takeback in case he wasn't aware of en passant captures, but he declined.

Black's in trouble. retaking with the e-pawn gives white an open efile to play with. retaking with the b pawn gives white queen plenty of Fool's Mate - like possibilities on the h5-e1 diagonal. Retaking with the knight avoids those problems and develops a piece, but let's white's knight have a lovely outpost at e5 backed up by two pawns. And, no matter what black does, the e-file is at least half open.

6. ... Nxf6
7. Ne5 Bb7?

The black knight's "outpost" at e4 is illusory at best as white can dismiss it at will with Bd3 and Nd2, winning the pawn if the knight tries to stay. Further, the white pieces are most likely headed to these squares anyway, so the move doesn't cause any disruption.

Bb7 is a hopeless square where the black piece will languish behind his own pawns for the rest of the game. Bf5 has much better prospects, for white is not yet so powerful as to compel the bishop away. Further, white would rather have a bishop on d3 than e2, and if black plays Bf5 white will have to use the only square left to his bishop (though it's not that bad, it would support g4 to evict the black bishop).

Black's position is cramped AND white is brewing an attack. The best way to deal with this problem is to try to force material exchanges. After a few trades the advanced white pawns will be easy to attack then they are now.

Incidently though, Bf4 does not support the knight coming to e4. White just has too many ways to attack that square - Bd3, Nd2, Qe2, Re1 (after castling). The white knight, by constrast, is shielded from agression by the black rooks or the queen by the black pawn on e7

8. Bd3 Nbd7

The white bishop comes to the freely given square on d3. Black tries for some pressure on the white knight, but he can't take it. If 9. ... Nxe5 10. fxe5 Ng8 (Nd7 leads to forced mate after 11. Qh5+ g6 12. Qxg6+ (bishop works just as well but the queen sacrifice gets the style points) hxg6 13. Bxg6#) 11. Qh5+ and black's king is forced to d7 since blocking with the pawn loses a pawn and a rook for a bishop (g6? 12 Bxg6 hxg6 13 QxR) - further the knight is enprise and can't escape unless black sacs the bishop instead.

f5?? continues to haunt black.

9. O-O

White continues a natural development and lets black stir in his own juices. Castling not only safeguard the king but gives black yet another reason to leave the white knight at e5 alone since the rook can make use of the open f-file.

9. ... e6
10. Nd2

Black proceeds with his development the best he can, getting his king bishop out so he can castle. Meanwhile white plans to back up the e5 knight or set a knight on g5 depending on the situation.

10. ... Be7
11. Ndf3 O-O

This gives white the possibility of g5, threatening a fork after Nxe6. Against this black has nothing better then to get the queen and then the rook out of the way before the fork hits.

The best answer to this threat though brings up problems that white would rather exploit than simply winning the pawn. h6 allows Ng6 followed by N(f)e5 and black suddenly has horses all over his weak white squares. Where's the white sqare bishop in all of this? Twiddling his thumbs over on b7 with no hope of stopping the mad horsemen.

12. c3

And so with the understanding that black might weaken g6 further to try to stop the fork c3 simply lets the queen form up behind the bishop on the h7-b2 diagonal.

12. ... Bd6

Putting further pressure on the annoying knight, and allows the queen to stop the fork threat. Honestly though, the bishop should have came straight here instead of stopping at e7.

13. Qc2

Activating the queen. Now if the exchange occurs the black knight can't come to e4 since that loses the pawn.

13. ... h6

Finally black decides to cut off g5, but that only makes the queen and bishop batter more potent.

14. Bd2

Black isn't going anywhere soon, so white decides not to rush things and get the queen rook onto e1. Ng6 is attractive too, but this momentary harrassment costs white time better spent turning a promising attack into an overwhelming one.

14. ... a5
15. R(a)e1 Nxe5??

Unable to take the constriction any longer black loses his nerve and lashes out. This is probably the worst way to do it since it will cost black a piece.

16. fxe5 Bxe5

Moving the bishop off and letting the knight die is probably better for black, but that's like saying cutting your arm off at the wrist is better than cutting it off at the shoulder.

17. dxe5!

Driving off the blockading knight at f6 and ensureing the f-file comes completely open once the white knight finds somewhere to go.

17. ... Nd7
18. Bh7+ Kh8
19. Qd3

When a queen moves only a single square chances are excellent she's up to something.

19. ... c5
20. Ng5!

And now the mysterious queen move is explained. If the knight is captured by the pawn the queen can go to the newly opened h-file. While the knight has threats of his own, the main virtue of his move is getting out of the queen's way.

20. ... c4
21. Qh3 Rxf1+
22. RxR hxg5??

Resigning is better than this move. Qe8 followed by Nf8 at least puts up a fight at this point - that was the only possible point of the rook exchange.

23. Bg6+ Kg8
24. Qh7#

Forced. Meanwhile, on b7, the bishop continues twiddling his thumbs...

btw, 23. Bf5+ Kg8 24. Bxe6# is prettier, but I didn't see it at the time.

1. e4 d6 2. d4 c6 3. f4 b5 4. Nf3 d5 5. e5 f5 6. exf6 Nxf6 7. Ne5 Bb7 8. Bd3 Nbd7 9. O-O e6 10. Nd2 Be7 11. Ndf3 O-O 12. c3 Bd6 13. Qc2 h6 14. Bd2 a5 15.Rae1 Nxe5 16. fxe5 Bxe5 17. dxe5 Nd7 18. Bh7+ Kh8 19. Qd3 c5 20. Ng5 c4 21. Qh3 Rxf1+ 22. Rxf1 hxg5 23. Bg6+ Kg8 24. Qh7# {Black checkmated} 1-0

31-05-2005, 09:52 PM
This is a hippomotapus, not a hedgehog...

04-12-2005, 09:45 AM
Yeah, A Hedgehog Formation has pawns on a6, b6, d6 and e6 (sometime a fienchettoed bishop on g7) but they usally arise from Sicilains Alot in The Kan viriation (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6)